Jakartans flee from zombies at 'Run for Your Lives'
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
The growing trend of fun run events in the capital has made the sport a new enjoyable activity, with many people joining for both health and entertainment.
Responding to the trend, event organizer Indonesia Muda Road Runner (IMRR) included zombie versions of famous characters in Indonesia's first Run for Your Lives, held at Pasar Seni, Ancol Dreamland, North Jakarta, on Saturday.
The event, first held in the US in 2011 by Maryland-based organizer Reed Street Productions, attracted around 2,350 participants in Jakarta. As many as 2,000 joined as runners while the remaining 350 took on the role of zombies.
To come out as 'survivors', the runners had to conquer an approximately 5-kilometer track wearing a belt with three red tags, representing lives, and had to avoid zombies attempting to grab the tags, as well as face eight challenging obstacles, such as a water slide and a haunted house.
'It was fun. I can do sport while having fun. It feels like I am back in my younger days,' said Juni Lestari, 38, who participated as a zombie and wore fake scars on her face and a blood-covered nurse uniform. 'Considering the fun, the Rp 350,000 [US$25.2] entrance ticket was worth it.'
Juni came with her teen daughter, Elita Sierly, who also took part as a zombie.
However, not all zombies enjoyed their role. University student Sentanah 'Asun' Limmase, 20, said that he should have chosen to be a runner, because the runners 'seemed to be more active and having more fun'.
He explained that while acting as the walking dead, he mostly spent his time waiting for the runners to enter the zombie-infested area. The runners raced in seven staggered groups, with each group starting the race 30 minutes apart.
Asun said that he was able to join the event for free as he had received a special promo code from his friend. He said that if he had not received the promo ticket, he would not have participated. 'The ticket was too pricey for university students like me,' Asun added.
Stephanie Gabriella, who came to the event with her boyfriend Jeffrey Nijstad, also said that the ticket was 'a little bit expensive'. Nonetheless, she said that the event was an alternative for people wanting to spend a weekend doing something productive.
She said that the moderate distance of the race track suited her as she did not do sports regularly. Unlike his girlfriend, Jeffrey said the race was not challenging enough for him as he ran at least 10 km daily.
An officer from the Indonesian Army, JR Sesa, expressed a similar opinion, saying that the distance was not challenging enough for him and 23 other army officers who attended the event with him.
'We came here looking for fun and sweat. We are sweating, but we are not tired, I think the distant is not 5 km. It might be only 3.5 km,' Sesa said. 'All of us came out as survivors with no lives taken.'
Sesa also said that the obstacles were not challenging enough, as he and his friends had initially expected wet and dirty obstacles, like muddy ponds.
However, he said that the event offered the fun atmosphere he and his friends had been looking for.
Sesa went on to suggest that if the organizer held the event next year, it should involve more than eight obstacles that were 'dirtier'.
Gatot Sudarsono, director and owner of IMRR, confirmed that his institution would hold Run for Your Lives next year as it had paid for an event license for two years. (agn)
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